CROWDS GATHERED in churches and public places throughout the country today, after Parliament repealed the unpopular "anti-smacking" law.
The law was repealed by Parliament following a Citizens Initiated Referendum, which established that the majority of New Zealanders wanted the right to beat their children.
At the Eternity Church in St Heliers, hundreds congregated to celebrate the law change. The leader of the Eternity Church, Pope Brendan Takanini, spoke of the significance of the law change.
"The greatest gift a father can give his children is love, unconditional love", said Pope Takanini, "like the unconditional love Jesus Christ bore for us all. When this unholy law was first passed, they tried to tell us it was wrong for us to express that love. We resisted fiercely, like the Jews of the Temple against the Romans, but like the Romans the worldly powers were too strong.
"But our faith in the Lord has borne fruit. Did I not say to you this day would come?
"Now, no earthly authority may come between the loving chastisement a parent wishes to visit upon his or her beautiful children.
"No temporal power may now prevent the miracle of life that is the loving beating a father inflicts upon his precious sons and daughters. As the Lord Jesus bled for out sins, now let our children do so.
"Take now your plowshares and turn them into swords, canes, whips, bats and paddles."
In Christchurch a noisy crowd assembled in Cathedral Square to celebrate the repeal of the anti-smacking law, and to hold a special celebratory Smackathon.
Justine Manson, CEO of the Won't Someone Think of the Children Foundation, fired the crowd up with a speech that blasted the politicians who passed the 2007 law. Then over a hundred children lined up to receive a loving chastisement from volunteers who had offered to beat, thrash and punch the love of Jesus into them.
Afterwards, Jim, a father of three, showed our reporter his heavy leather strap he had just bought from a nearby stall. "I've been itching to put this into action," he explained. "I'm going to put the fear of God into those little bastards."
Most other fathers we spoke to at the Christchurch gathering were enthusiastic about the law change. "I brought all four of my kids along," said Dave, a teacher from Sumner. "I wanted them to see this historic day, and to make them feel the brutal miracle that is their father's love."
Across town, Wayne and Judy Kerr, owners of the Resurrection Christian Shop, told us how business picked up the moment the 2007 law was repealed.
"After the anti-smacking legislation came in," said Judy, "we almost went out of business. Suddenly nobody wanted to buy our range of patented leather corrective devices. Now we can't keep up with demand."
Judy picked up a large wooden paddle from a hook near the counter. "This is our top-seller now. The Hail Mary 2000. Guaranteed to beat the fear of God into your kids".
The repeal of the anti-smacking law has delighted the Executive Director of Family Fists, Rob MacGonagall. "The law was an ass," he said. "It criminalised good decent parents who just wanted to thrash their children into bloody unrecognisable masses. This is a victory for good common sense. Now where did I leave my cattle-prod?"